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rise and fall of Napoleon

Napoleon

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to navigationJump to searchThis article is about Napoleon I. For other uses, see Napoleon (disambiguation).”Napoleon Bonaparte” redirects here. For other uses, see Napoleon Bonaparte (disambiguation).

Napoleon
The Emperor Napoleon in His Study at the Tuileries by Jacques-Louis David, 1812
Emperor of the French
1st reign18 May 1804 – 6 April 1814
Coronation2 December 1804
Notre-Dame Cathedral
PredecessorMonarchy established
SuccessorLouis XVIII as King
2nd reign20 March 1815 – 22 June 1815
PredecessorLouis XVIII
SuccessorLouis XVIII
King of Italy
Reign17 March 1805 – 11 April 1814
Coronation26 May 1805
Milan Cathedral
PredecessorHimself as President
SuccessorMonarchy abolished
Protector of the
Confederation of the Rhine
In office
12 July 1806 – 19 October 1813
PredecessorOffice established
(partly Francis II as Holy Roman Emperor)
SuccessorOffice abolished
(partly Francis I as President of the German Confederation)
President of the Italian Republic
In office
26 January 1802 – 17 March 1805
PredecessorOffice established
(partly Francesco Melzi d’Eril as First Director)
SuccessorHimself as King
First Consul of France
In office
10 November 1799 – 18 May 1804
Serving with Jean Jacques Régis and Charles-François Lebrun
PredecessorFrench Directory
SuccessorHimself as Emperor
More…
Born15 August 1769
AjaccioCorsica, France
Died5 May 1821 (aged 51)
Longwood, Saint Helena, United Kingdom
BurialLes InvalidesParis, France
SpouseJoséphine de Beauharnais
(m. 1796; div. 1810)
Marie Louise of Austria(m. 1810)
Issue
Detail
Napoleon II
Full nameNapoléon Bonaparte
HouseBonaparte
FatherCarlo Buonaparte
MotherLetizia Ramolino
Religionsee religion section
Signature


Coat of arms

Napoléon Bonaparte (/nəˈpoʊliən ˈboʊnəpɑːrt/,[1] French: [napɔleɔ̃ bɔnɑpaʁt]ItalianNapoleone Buonaparte; 15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French statesman and military leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars. He was Emperor of the French from 1804 until 1814 and again briefly in 1815 during the Hundred Days. Napoleon dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars. He won most of these wars and the vast majority of his battles, building a large empire that ruled over continental Europe before its final collapse in 1815. He is considered one of the greatest commanders in history, and his wars and campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide. Napoleon’s political and cultural legacy has endured as one of the most celebrated and controversial leaders in human history.[2][3]

He was born Napoleone di Buonaparte (Italian: [napoleˈoːne di ˌbwɔnaˈparte]) in Corsica to a relatively modest family of Italian origin from minor nobility. He was serving as an artillery officer in the French army when the French Revolution erupted in 1789. He rapidly rose through the ranks of the military, seizing the new opportunities presented by the Revolution and becoming a general at age 24. The French Directory eventually gave him command of the Army of Italy after he suppressed a revolt against the government from royalist insurgents. At age 26, he began his first military campaign against the Austrians and the Italian monarchs aligned with the Habsburgs—winning virtually every battle, conquering the Italian Peninsula in a year while establishing “sister republics” with local support, and becoming a war hero in France. In 1798, he led a military expedition to Egypt that served as a springboard to political power. He orchestrated a coup in November 1799 and became First Consul of the Republic. His ambition and public approval inspired him to go further, and he became the first Emperor of the French in 1804. Intractable differences with the British meant that the French were facing a Third Coalition by 1805. Napoleon shattered this coalition with decisive victories in the Ulm Campaign and a historic triumph over the Russian Empire and Austrian Empire at the Battle of Austerlitz which led to the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1806, the Fourth Coalition took up arms against him because Prussia became worried about growing French influence on the continent. Napoleon quickly defeated Prussia at the battles of Jena and Auerstedt, then marched his Grande Armée deep into Eastern Europe and annihilated the Russians in June 1807 at the Battle of Friedland. France then forced the defeated nations of the Fourth Coalition to sign the Treaties of Tilsit in July 1807, bringing an uneasy peace to the continent. Tilsit signified the high-water mark of the French Empire. In 1809, the Austrians and the British challenged the French again during the War of the Fifth Coalition, but Napoleon solidified his grip over Europe after triumphing at the Battle of Wagram in July.

Napoleon then invaded the Iberian Peninsula, hoping to extend the Continental System and choke off British trade with the European mainland, and declared his brother Joseph Bonaparte the King of Spain in 1808. The Spanish and the Portuguese revolted with British support. The Peninsular War lasted six years, featured extensive guerrilla warfare, and ended in victory for the Allies against Napoleon. The Continental System caused recurring diplomatic conflicts between France and its client states, especially Russia. The Russians were unwilling to bear the economic consequences of reduced trade and routinely violated the Continental System, enticing Napoleon into another war. The French launched a major invasion of Russia in the summer of 1812. The campaign destroyed Russian cities, but did not yield the decisive victory Napoleon wanted. It resulted in the collapse of the Grande Armée and inspired a renewed push against Napoleon by his enemies. In 1813, Prussia and Austria joined Russian forces in the War of the Sixth Coalition against France. A lengthy military campaign culminated in a large Allied army defeating Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig in October 1813, but his tactical victory at the minor Battle of Hanau allowed retreat onto French soil. The Allies then invaded France and captured Paris in the spring of 1814, forcing Napoleon to abdicate in April. He was exiled to the island of Elba off the coast of Tuscany, and the Bourbon dynasty was restored to power. However, Napoleon escaped from Elba in February 1815 and took control of France once again. The Allies responded by forming a Seventh Coalition which defeated him at the Battle of Waterloo in June. The British exiled him to the remote island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic, where he died six years later at the age of 51.